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Britain Says Lockerbie Talks Progressing

August 11, 2003

LONDON (AP) _ Britain reported progress Monday in talks with American and Libyan officials about the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, that claimed 270 lives.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said no announcement of a settlement was immediately forthcoming, and no further meetings were planned at the moment. She spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Foreign Office would not discuss publicly what took place at the meeting, one of a series of trilateral sessions over the last few years about the bombing.

But officials were pleased with progress Monday, and called the meeting ``a constructive session,″ she said.

Those at the working-level meeting discussed the Lockerbie bombing ``and outstanding U.N. Security Council requirements,″ she said.

The requirements are that Libya accept responsibility for the bombing of the airliner and pay appropriate compensation. The plane was blown up after taking off from London en route to the United States; most of those killed were Americans.

Lawyers for the families have said that is prepared to pay victims’ families a total of $2.7 billion.

Libya has indicated it is intent on meeting both U.N. requirements and on closing the books on an issue that has affected its international relations for years. Compliance could lead to a lifting of U.N. sanctions.

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was asked on television this month if his country accepted responsibility and was prepared to pay compensation. He did not answer directly but said negotiators were nearing a conclusion.

Libya’s foreign minister has said his government accepted ``civil responsibility″ for the plane’s downing.

In 1999, Libya turned over two agents to the United Nations for trial. One was convicted of the bombing.

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